Say Hello To My "Little" Friend

OK, I was wrong. Or not. We'll see how long it takes billionaires and millionaires to cut up the pie and get to 50/50 soon enough. You all know where I stand on that. I still think they get it done well before the Winter Classic SponsorRama. Let's just say that I'm feeling more like Tony Montana than I was a while ago. (Note : Video is definitely NSFW, but it sure is a classic )

But until then, to hell with them. They are dead to me. ( yeah right, the NHL knows they have Canadians, no matter how we'll grouse about it when they get back! ) There is still pul-enty of hockey played in the Vancouver area. The Heat might become our team one day, there is the BCJHL, and of course Vancouver is a hockey hotbed no matter what is said elsewhere.

One only needs to look at NHL rosters to see the influence of the "other" team in Vancity. Like the newly signed Evander Kane, Milan Lucic, defensemen galore from Cody Franson to Jonathan Blum, and many others through the years, ( including the Canucks own Kevin Connauton, the Giants' all time defenseman scoring leader ) Vancouver hockey fans have long viewed the Vancouver Giants as a sort of guilty pleasure. The games are always swift and at times captivating hockey, with plenty of hitting. What's not to love? Its the top level of junior in Canada, and the 2007 Memorial Cup winners know a few things about winning.

So, lets take a look at what we have to look forward to with the next generation of players while the other kids sort out their big piles of money. Maybe they can have Mitt Romney arbitrate once he is done with his Nov. 6th non balloon drop.

Of course there are more than the next generation of stars in the CHL, of which the Giants' WHL is a part. The Memorial Cup is captivating and exciting hockey no matter who is in the tourney. That league, the WHL, even has a type of player that has sent hundreds of NHLers on to fame and fortune over the years. New lifetime contract awardee Shea Weber being just the latest.

So, who have we got, and do the Giants have a chance this year? Well, we can explore the lineup together as they start playing Friday ( smartly with a lockout discount promotion for the first three games. Fifteen bucks! ) , and while its way too premature on the latter, usually when teams in the CHL are "going for it" this year, they make trades like the Giants did recently. (that story also notes that there are 29 players on the team. As you can see...I went with the 27 that the team put on the website ) Lets take a look at what we have here...

FORWARDS
No. Player Pos. Shoots Ht Wt DOB Hometown 2012 WHL Preseason
7 Matt Bellerive RW R 5'11 188 Dec. 7, 1994 North Vancouver, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
9 Dalton Sward C R 6'1 182 Jan. 10, 1994 Abbotsford, B.C Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
10 Scott Cooke RW R 6'2 175 Mar. 15, 1994 Surrey, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
12 Cain Franson C L 6'1 167 Mar. 25, 1993 Sicamous, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
14 Taylor Makin LW L 6'0 185 Jan. 26, 1992 Blairmore, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
15 Riley Kieser C L 6'0 182 Apr. 27, 1993 Sherwood Park, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
16 Carter Popoff C R 5'9 180 May. 9, 1995 Richmond, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
17 Marek Tvrdon LW L 6'2 217 Jan. 31, 1993 Nitra, Slovakia Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
18 Anthony Ast C R 5'8 170 Feb. 11, 1995 Richmond, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
19 Nathan Burns LW L 6'2 175 Jul. 15, 1993 Edmonton, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
20 Tanner Moar RW R 6'3 180 Jul. 12, 1994 Canwood, SK Kelowna Rockets Game by Game report
22 Ales Kilnar LW L 6'0 185 Oct. 5, 1993 Ostrava, Czech Republic Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
24 Austin Vetterl C R 5'11 171 Feb. 2, 1994 Surrey, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
25 Tristan Sieben LW L 5'9 187 Jul. 13, 1994 Edmonton, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
26 Taylor Vickerman LW L 6'1 181 Apr. 12, 1996 Kennewick, WA, USA Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
27 Jackson Houck RW R 6'0 184 Feb. 27, 1995 North Vancouver, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
39 Thomas Foster C L 5'10 160 Mar. 28, 1996 Slave Lake, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
DEFENCEMEN
No. Player Pos. Shoots Ht Wt DOB Hometown 2012 WHL Preseason
2 Brett Kulak D L 6'1 175 Jan. 6, 1994 Stony Plain, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
4 Blake Orban D R 6'1 197 Jan. 28, 1994 Calgary, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
5 Wes Vannieuwenhuizen D L 6'3 208 Apr. 20, 1992 Chilliwack, B.C Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
6 David Musil D L 6'4 203 Apr. 9, 1993 Delta, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
8 Tyler Morrison D L 5'11 183 Oct. 23, 1995 Sherwood Park, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
21 Stewart Coyle D R 6'2 185 Aug. 15, 1995 Sicamous, BC Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
28 John Neibrandt D L 6'5 196 Oct. 9, 1992 Yorkton, SK Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
29 Reid Zalitach D R 6'0 175 May. 1, 1996 Narol, MB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
GOALIES
No. Player Pos. Catches Ht Wt DOB Hometown 2012 WHL Preseason
33 Liam Liston G L 6'2 195 Apr. 6, 1993 St. Albert, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
37 Tyler Fuhr G L 6'0 157 May. 30, 1995 Sherwood Park, AB Vancouver Giants Game by Game report
COACHES
Don Hay, Head Coach

I am sure you can do the clicking over here at the team site. I'll be honest here. I don't know a lot about the team yet. YET. I am a fan, and have followed them closely, but not with the mania NHL fans follow the team for which this site is named. You only have so many hours in the day!

However, I am liking what I see from the get go. Look at all those B.C kids! There are 11 players from British Columbia, including North Van's Matt Bellerive, Abbotsford's newly acquired Dalton Sward, Surrey's Austin Vetteri and Scott Cooke, Cody's brother Cain Franson from Sicamous,( and another from the 'Mous,defenseman Stewart Colyle ) as well as Delta's own highly regarded Oiler defensive prospect David Musil. There's fun to say Carter Popoff from Richmond, and Wes Vannieuwhenhuizen ( I'd love to know what the hardcore Giant fans have nicknamed him, but apart from Alphabet, I got nothing right now... )

There is a goalie named Fuhr ( Tyler, who is not related to Grant ), part of an all Albertan goaltending tandem. They are 2 of the 9 Wild Rose born, and of the 27 man roster, the final 7 are from both Czech and Slovak Republics, Washington State and four from the rest of the Canadian Prairies. Thats 20 guys from Western Canada, and we can almost claim Kenniewick Washington when it comes to "local" as well. At least until Seattle gets their digs built.

That is a pretty local lineup, if I do say so myself. I am looking forward to getting to know them as much as you just might be if the kids don't start talking.

It starts Friday. Crown the Royals!

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